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    Why are these the most popular social networks globally in 2024?

    Trevor Cooke from EarthWeb weighs in on which social networks take the cake this year in the worldwide popularity contest

    The world of social media is always changing under the influence of popular culture and emerging trends, so how do some social networks manage to consistently stay on top?Trevor Cooke from EarthWeb surveys the most popular social networks in the world and explains why these five are still doing so well while others crash and burn into oblivion.

    Facebook

    One advantage Facebook has that many other social networks lack is Facebook Groups. These allow users of all ages to join an exclusive community where they can discuss every topic, from their favorite TV shows to the fun things they find in thrift stores. Although many young people make fun of Facebook, saying that no one uses it anymore, that is simply not true. Since 2011, the monthly amount of users has only increased.

    The introduction of Facebook Marketplace has definitely increased the use of the app for more practical reasons than just posting how your day is going. ‘According to Capital One, 65.9% of all social media consumers made their most recent purchase via Facebook and 16% of active users log in to Facebook for the sole purpose of shopping on Facebook Marketplace,’ says Trevor. ‘Those are significant percentages, proving that Facebook Marketplace has had a huge impact on why Facebook is still so popular.’

    WhatsApp

    WhatsApp is a social network that is not as widely known in the U.S. but is used by millions of people worldwide. It offers a space for communication between people from all different regions of the world on all types of mobile devices. This kind of easy accessibility is especially appealing to those who move to a different country, away from the rest of their family.

    According to Google Trends, the top searches for the phrase ‘What is WhatsApp?’ come from states like Florida, New York, California, and Texas. ‘These states have high numbers of immigrants who come to the U.S. for work or other reasons, so they are far from home and need an easy way to communicate with family. WhatsApp is the solution,’ says Trevor.

    Some social networking apps do not transcend countries and cultures, but WhatsApp is one that does and will continue to grow in popularity as the world becomes increasingly globalized. The app is free to download and can be used with access to Wi-Fi or cellular data.

    YouTube

    In the age of online influencers, YouTube is the only relevant long-form video social network that still holds the attention of young people just as much if not more than it did a decade ago. From makeup tutorials to rich influencers filming themselves giving away thousands of dollars to strangers, this is a platform that Gen Z is eating up.

    ‘As YouTube has become something of a routine in many people’s daily lives, it’s no surprise that 62% of internet users in the U.S. access YouTube daily,’ Trevor notes. It’s a platform that’s always there if you want to watch a new music video or need to find a quick news story, but it’s also a companion for many people as they go through their morning routine or wind down at night. Modern Americans need constant entertainment and the long-form videos on YouTube are perfect for when people want to enjoy some downtime at home.

    Social media: which ones will be consigned to oblivion? (Image: Pixbay)

    Instagram

    Its simple format of scrollable squares has kept Instagram at the top since its inception. As a very visual app, it is one of the best social networks for advertisers. The introduction of its ‘reels’ feature has led it to surpass TikTok as the world’s most downloaded app. ‘This is very interesting, as Instagram’s reels offer direct competition for TikTok, which also offers primarily a short-form video format,’ notes Trevor. ‘We will have to see if people, especially influencers, make a switch to Instagram reels if TikTok gets banned or restricted in the U.S.’

    TikTok

    After emerging on the global scene in 2018, TikTok has blown up around the world and has even caused some controversy after its parent company was accused of selling users’ data to the Chinese government. The latest bill that was proposed in the US House of Representatives in a move to ban TikTok has only made the app more popular, keeping it in the top five most popular social networks this year.

    Short-form video content is the most popular form of entertainment online right now, and the influence TikTok has had on other social networks is very obvious. Many Instagram posts are just exported wholesale to TikTok, and Facebook group pages are full of short videos inspired by this trend of short-form videos.

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